1st Ultra which shoe?

I have entered my first ultra (Ultra Race Peaks) and am losing sleep over the correct trainer choice, I have in my rotation:

Inov8 road x-233, f lite 230's and x talon 190's (mostly because i love the inov8 uppers, size 9 always fits and I like the minimal ideals even if I am some way from a a great natural running gait)

I ran (well jogged, trudged, walked the steepest bits)coniston trail marathon in the f lite 230's and finished with very tender feet indeed (muscle / tendons, injinji's and the inov8 uppers kept the skin near perfect).

I therefore want something with more cushion that will offer a little support for the later miles and will cope with trail / path / road sections of the Ultra Race Peaks.

Any suggestions will be very welcome indeed, thanks.


  • When an ultra is on the menu, I tend to go with whatever shoe I have put in the most training miles with. 

    Personally I tend to use road shoes unless there has been a monsoon the previous day, but it sounds like you put in a lot of mileage in trail shoes.  If you want to stick with Inov8, then the roclite would offer significantly more cushioning than the models you have mentioned. 

  • Inov8 have a new shoe on the way that sounds great for mixed terrain ultras..  Roclite 309.... 

  • Thanks Both - will look up the Roclite 309.
  • also Inov8 do a 3mm insole that can be fitted underneath the existing one, adds a bit more cushioning but might make it a bit cramped. Or you could try a sorbothane insole on its own, Ive been using them and i like them.

    Inov8 do a cushioning system, 1-4 arrows, 4 being the most cushioned. have a look on their site, i think they do a shoe with the same sole as the f-lite but with 3 or 4 arrows.

  • Can`t find any info online about the 309 Alistair, if you have any luck perhaps you`d be kind enough to post it on here...  what I find odd about Inov-8 is they`ve released a new catalogue to there dealers but theres nothing on there web site..

  • The 3mm insole is a great suggestion (one MRS STewart will no doubt be very pleased with - not sure how I will get away with introducing yet another pair of trainers into the house!)

    I too struggled with a google search on the 309's just a couple of obscure references; I will ask an Inov8 stockist if they have any details tomorrow and post and findings.

  • I did a 28 mile coastal marathon earlier this year and used the Roclite 315. Very impressed with it. Good grip and enough cushioning to cope with a few short road sections.
  • Smalleyboy wrote (see)
    I did a 28 mile coastal marathon earlier this year and used the Roclite 315. Very impressed with it. Good grip and enough cushioning to cope with a few short road sections.
    I find running along sun baked bridle paths much harder on the body than tarmac, same goes for concrete pathways.. At least tarmac roads have some give in them..
  • Roland McCartney wrote (see)
    I find running along sun baked bridle paths...

    Living in Northern Ireland, we only see the sun for a few days of the year and 1976 was the last time our ground was baked!

    As the OP referred to 'Ultra Race Peaks' I assummed this would be a hilly/mountainous course and therefore liable to softer ground.

    You can't go wrong with Inov-8, just too many to pick from.

  • I'm doing ultraRace peaks too. I've run in Asics GT21** for years - need the support and have Gel Trabucos for trail which are very comfortable.

    Having struggled with Achilles tendonitis on & off for 18 months - which has finally settled (touch wood!) - I'm not keen on giving up my support/anti-pronation shoes, and I'm not brave enough to try out the much acclaimed Roclites - but they do look great.

  • Rich 1,

    How did you beat the dreaded AT?

    I picked it up at the end of April after doing too many miles that month. Rested for 3 weeks and then made a return to running but started back with too many miles too quickly and it flared up again. Have now been resting for last 4 weeks and been doing all the heel dip exercises. I have nearly no stiffness in the morning but my achilles is tender when I massage or manipulate it. Planning on a few more weeks rest and then a very gentle return to running e.g. a few runs per week of 2 miles and build up slowly.

    Would be keen to hear to how you returned to running.


  • Smalleyboy wrote (see)

    Rich 1,

    How did you beat the dreaded AT?

    Thrice daily massages with deep heat worked wonder for my AT mid way through last year...

  • Now that's a story.

    Probably started when my lovely wife got me some Kayanos - having seen my gait analysis video - I really need a shoe that keeps everything in line. Got progressively worse until it hurt with walking. essentially had complete rest from running for at least 2 months and some physio. This is probably 2 yrs ago now.

    Started running again. OK for a bit then went again Feb 2010 or so. Physio and no running again for at least 2 months. Got some Orthoheel inserts - for normal shoes and runners. Started running on treadmill very gently in about May/June 2010 and only up to 15-20 min. Did my first run on tarmac for about a year August 2010 - 15 minutes! Upped training through to Christmas - mainly treadmill (up to 30 min)and exercise bike. Then spent 3 months (Jan-Mar 2011) in boots - the raised heel made a huge difference I think. Occ running ouside. Minimal symptoms by now - a little sore after but nothing during. Was finally told about all the heel dip exercises etc!!

    In April I ran for an hour outside for the first time for a least 2 years and am now running freely - touch wood, fingers crossed etc etc.

    Key factors IMO

    1. Rest - have to be sooooo patient. Will probably need more than you think and may have to go no running for a prolonged period, then start short, slow and on treadmill/grass

    3. Correct footgear - not just running  but day-to-day. I avoid flat shoes and essentially only wear something with a heel. If you haven't already, get gait analysis and make sure your running shoes aren't causing it

    3. Inserts in all shoes - I use orthoheels in EVERYTHING - they do some light blue ones that go nicely in trainers - yes, they add to the weight but...... that's the rub. Race with them in too.

    4. Stretch - wish my original physio had given me the right exercises. I still do them daily (if I remember)

    5. Don't get older - blood supply to AT gets less with age and it takes longer to heel. This measure is hard to comply with.

    So that's the epic story - probably not much you don't already know - I think patience and common sense are the key.

  • Rich 1

    Many thanks for info. Confirms everything I have read.

    The only things I need to work on is patience and perhaps avoid flat shoes during the day.


  • After a few amazon orders and returns settled on Saucony Fastwitch 5 put in c45 miles over two runs this weekend (packed trails Clumber Park to Mansfield and road) smooth comfy and not a rub or chafe. On another forum Brooks ST5 were suggested which I may have gone for if I knew my sizing in Brooks will definitely try a pair next time I am in a store.
  • Thats great news Alistair, hope you enjoy that Ultra...
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